UV Sterilizers. Good or Bad For 20gallon Long

AquaLady

Member
I would like crystal clear water but I hear UV sterilizers kill beneficial bacteria as well so I would like to kbow the good and the bad things UV Sterilizers can cause and would one be necessary for my size tank.
 

Randyk47

Member
Maybe my thought process or knowledge base is way off but I've always thought the vast majority of beneficial bacteria is in the filter and substrate and that a UV sterilizer only attacks or addresses waterborne algae and bacteria. Personally I have a UV sterilizer just sitting on the shelf that I took out off my 55 gallon during an upgrade/maintenance cycle. My intention had been to put it back on the tank but quite frankly I saw no difference in the water clarity so I've just left it off. My personal goal is crystal clear water, or as close as I can get to that, and I've managed to do that without the sterilizer so there it sits.
 

LisaAnne

Member
UV sterilizers will kill bacteria in the water that come into contact with the UV light inside the unit. It will not kill any of the bacteria that's colonized in your tank since your beneficial bacteria lives on the substrate, your bio-media, decor and whatever other surface it lives on.

Depending on how slow the water flows through the sterilizer, it can kill parasites as well. (Another benefit beyond only clear water.)
 

llama roadkill

Member
I may invest in a small one for my future Biocube after reading this.
 

Orion5

Member
UV sterilizeres are principally for killing pathogens in the water.
 

llama roadkill

Member
Do you think it would be a good investment overtime?

Has anyone tried this?
 
  • Thread Starter

AquaLady

Member
Randyk47 said:
Maybe my thought process or knowledge base is way off but I've always thought the vast majority of beneficial bacteria is in the filter and substrate and that a UV sterilizer only attacks or addresses waterborne algae and bacteria. Personally I have a UV sterilizer just sitting on the shelf that I took out off my 55 gallon during an upgrade/maintenance cycle. My intention had been to put it back on the tank but quite frankly I saw no difference in the water clarity so I've just left it off. My personal goal is crystal clear water, or as close as I can get to that, and I've managed to do that without the sterilizer so there it sits.
Hey can I buy it off ya?
 
  • Thread Starter

AquaLady

Member
llama roadkill said:
Do you think it would be a good investment overtime?

Has anyone tried this?
Wow that link has good deals. Where I live is 50 bucks and up.
 

matsungit

Member
llama roadkill said:
Do you think it would be a good investment overtime?

Has anyone tried this?
I have the 24W Green Killing Machine and I think it's one of the best out there. The replacement bulb is quite pricey though. With a new bulb my 24W practically clears up the water overnight whenever I use it. I don't use it all the time to extend the bulb life.
 
  • Thread Starter

AquaLady

Member
That's a good idea not to have it on 24/7. I have an algae problem galore and my otos and snails aren't enough.
 

Randyk47

Member
AquaLady said:
Hey can I buy it off ya?
Thanks for the offer but I think I'll hold on to it.....just in case. ;D
 
  • Thread Starter

AquaLady

Member
Randyk47 said:
Thanks for the offer but I think I'll hold on to it.....just in case. ;D
Awww. Ok. Since there's good deals at petco ill try there.
 

Tsyklon

Member
I've actually used the Green Killing Machine 9-watt as an 'eh, why not' measure when treating ich in the 29. Whether it had any effect on the trophonts is debatable BUT my water was surprisingly crystal clear for the couple of weeks I had it in there! I've heard changing the bulb is difficult because you need to replace the entire bulb housing. On the other hand, it does serve as a pretty neat little power head if you're done with it XD
 

llama roadkill

Member
Would a Green Killing Machine work in one the of back chambers of a BioCube?
 

Tsyklon

Member
llama roadkill said:
Would a Green Killing Machine work in one the of back chambers of a BioCube?
I'm not sure... its a pretty bulky thing for an in-water unit. It has 4 suction cups on the power head that attach to the back of the aquarium, and the bulb housing hangs down off the power head, it's about 6 inches long. You may be able to, but it might be a little ungainly. XD I can take a photo of in the 29 if that helps.
 

matsungit

Member
The 24W is very bulky. It fits ok but unsightly on my 60 gallonbut barely fits the 36 bow front. It's one of the main reasons I don't use it permanently.
 

llama roadkill

Member
Wow. That may be pretty cumbersome. Does anyone know a smaller one that could fit for under $60 or $70?
 
  • Thread Starter

AquaLady

Member
How bout for a 20gal long?
 

Tsyklon

Member

uv1.jpg

uv2.jpg


Here's what it looks like in the 29G. They can be pretty unsightly
 

llama roadkill

Member
Oh. Wow! Pretty large in a small tank. May just use Chemipure instead.
 

EricV

Member
Yeah I wouldn't use that in my tanks. I'm very very picky about not seeing any equipment. Fortunately my main tank currently has an overflow along the back where I can hide everything. I think when I set up another large tank ill go ahead and add a sump so all the various gadgets can be safely hidden away.
 

matsungit

Member
Tsyklon said:

uv1.jpg

uv2.jpg


Here's what it looks like in the 29G. They can be pretty unsightly
Yup and that's the 9W. The 24W is twice that length and even more unsightly. That's why I only use it for temporary quick fixes when there's green water or treating disease. Good thing they're very efficient so I don't have to keep them running in the tank for a long time.
 

LisaAnne

Member
They are bulky. Mine will be inline, attached to my canister filter under my cabinet.
 

Randyk47

Member
LisaAnne said:
They are bulky. Mine will be inline, attached to my canister filter under my cabinet.
I've run mine, when I've used it, either inline or as a standalone HOB with a power head. It's a good 16" tall by about 6" wide by about 4" thick/deep. I figure the design is driven by trying to maximize the water's exposure to the UV bulb through size and the serpentine route the water flows internally. Slow in this case is better than fast.
 

LisaAnne

Member
Randyk47 said:
I've run mine, when I've used it, either inline or as a standalone HOB with a power head. It's a good 16" tall by about 6" wide by about 4" thick/deep. I figure the design is driven by trying to maximize the water's exposure to the UV bulb through size and the serpentine route the water flows internally. Slow in this case is better than fast.
Yes, that's exactly right. The slower the water flows through the unit, the more time the water spends being exposed to the UV light, which helps the sterilization of parasites and whatnot. Faster flow may still result in clear water but, it won't give the unit ample time to rid your water column of anything else. Remembering that the process of sterilization is directly related to the size of these units makes them seem less bulky... well almost. lol
 

llama roadkill

Member
I may buy one for use just in the case of disease.
 
  • Thread Starter

AquaLady

Member
Does it work for odors?
 

Randyk47

Member
AquaLady said:
Does it work for odors?
Yes, kind of but then again I'm not convinced it would help the situation you're dealing with on your other major thread. That's still a head-scratcher.
 
  • Thread Starter

AquaLady

Member
I finally got a uv sterilizer and it works for my odor problem...for a few days. I don't keep it on all the time because I want the bulb to last. My odor problem is slightly solved. I'm no longer smelling it when I enter the room. But only when I put my nose to it.
 
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